MPA-related Research

The SeaDoc Society is ensuring the health of marine wildlife populations and their ecosystems by funding critical research, providing scientific support and bringing stakeholders together. Thanks to the support of numerous private investors, the SeaDoc Society recently solicited and funded four new research projects to be conducted in 2004. Like the projects we have funded before, these studies are designed to provide useful information that will enable us to better manage our living marine resources. Last year, the SeaDoc Society reported that over 60 marine species in our region have declined enough to warrant their listing or proposed listing as threatened or endangered. The new research we are supporting this year is examining marine protected areas (MPAs) as a tool to help recover declining populations of wildlife like rockfish, herring, and scoters.

We are also supporting a project examining historical and current tribal perspectives on using MPAs for species recovery. Specifically, funded projects will examine:

  • How big do MPAs need to be to really protect quillback and copper rockfish?
  • Do the young rockfish produced within MPAs settle within the protected area?
  • Is reduced herring spawn contributing to population declines of surf and white-winged scoters and are herring spawning sites adequately protected?
  • What are tribal perspectives on MPAs and how can tribal perspectives and traditional knowledge be incorporated into MPA management?

As results from these projects become available, we will actively ensure that managers and stakeholders understand and utilize the results to make better decisions about using appropriate tools to recover declining species. For more detail about these new projects or past projects funded by the SeaDoc Society, including the paper referenced below*, please contact us or visit our website at

Once again, none of this valuable work would be possible without private citizens who care enough about our marine ecosystem to invest in its future. Thank you again for supporting the SeaDoc Society.

Sincerely, Kirsten Gilardi & Joe Gaydos

*Gaydos, J. K. and K. V.K. Gilardi. 2003. Species of Concern in the Georgia Basin / Puget Sound Marine Ecosystem: more support for a transboundary ecosystem approach to marine conservation. In Droscher, Toni and David A. Fraser (eds.) 2003 Georgia Basin/Puget Sound Research Conference Proceedings, March 31-April 3, 2003, Vancouver, British Columbia.